Last year I started reading a book called Trim Healthy Mama, written by two sisters, Serene Allison and Pearl Barrett. It was a little bit much to take in… 607 pages of information. So, since I’m a “give me the bottom line” kind of person and didn’t have a lot of time to read all at once… and since I wanted to start right away and not wait until I finished the book, I went straight to the “good parts” that talked about the way we need to eat (chapters 8-11), as in types of meals… E, S, FP. I started eating the way they said and… didn’t like many of the recipes. For one thing, I’m not going to eat sardines… ever… let alone have them for breakfast. I’m not much of a fish person and lutefisk and sardines are two of my nightmare foods. For another, I went out and bought all kinds of ingredients that upped my food budget dramatically. So I used these new ingredients and created meals and desserts from the book.
Everyone has different taste buds. There were some recipes I didn’t care for and some I liked, so I marked the things that we didn’t enjoy and highlighted the ones we did. Then I started looking online for information, found a Facebook group where THMers encourage each other, ask questions, get all kinds of information, etc. It was great. I found out about a lot of people eating the THM way who had experimented and created recipes, many of which we really liked.
Finally, I finished reading the book. During this whole time, I was losing weight… but, by ounces, not pounds. However, I was OK with that because I started noticing a change in the way my clothes were fitting. Then I noticed that the headaches I had been getting that would lay me low were gone. The swelling in my joints calmed down. (Clearly, the headaches and swelling in the joints came from the foods I had been eating before THM.) So, there were benefits to this way of eating even if I was being a turtle on the scale. (Unlike so many others who are losing reasonably quickly, it took me MONTHS to lose 11 pounds.)
Change in Perspective
On February 27th, I decided to do THM all the way. I hadn’t been eating as often as the book says to eat and I would skip meals without even realizing it because, frankly, I just wasn’t hungry. I knew my metabolism was really slow, but on top of that, I didn’t seem to experience normal hunger pangs. I’d literally forget to eat. So, with this new commitment to eat as often as it said, I had to eat mindfully, really paying attention. Doing the THM program just the way they say, I have lost an additional 6.2 pounds since February 27th. Considering how long it took me to lose before that, this was amazing. On top of it all, I have started to feel hunger pangs when my body needs nourishment. That’s a good thing. My body needed MORE food than I was giving it (and I wasn’t eating tiny meals). Because I hadn’t been eating enough, it had been hanging on to calories for dear life. This experience helped me understand what Pearl and Serene had written. I got rid of the “diet” mentality, ate more (whole healthy foods), and started losing more quickly!
Would I recommend THM to others? Yes, absolutely.
Did I need to buy all these special ingredients? No. Once I got the concept of THM down, I realized that I can simply apply it to my own cooking style. It’s not difficult to eat this way in restaurants, either.
Can THM be done on a budget? Yes. There’s even a Facebook page that gives great ideas for THM meals and snacks on a budget.
Do I need to buy the book? Well… you do need the book. It’s loaded with information that is important if you’re going to change your lifestyle. However, your local library may have a copy that you can borrow. Or, you can purchase the electronic version if you’d prefer. But, yes… you do need the book in one form or another. Mine is marked up and highlighted. I have post it notes in certain places that I go back to over and over and have written changes/variations to recipes right on the pages of the book.
If you need to lose weight or even if you don’t, but you want to get healthier, THM is a sensible and simple lifestyle change that works.
Check out Trim Healthy Mama. See if it will help you get healthier.